As I mentioned in a previous post, I recently received a small Le Creuset, and I’ve been dying to make something with it. So over the last week or so, I’ve been going through my cookbooks and tagging recipes to try. I decided to make this Irish stew first for a few reasons:
1) It’s finally starting to feel like fall and nothing says warm and cozy better than a stew.
2) It’s simple, yet delicious and keeps you full for hours.
3) Growing up in the Middle East, we ate a lot of lamb. Though the cuisine varies vastly from this Irish traditional dish, the gamey flavor of this dish makes me nostalgic.
Today is the day — my birthday! This year, I’m feeling pretty blessed so I decided to do something a little different, and give rather than receive. Yes, that’s right. I baked my own cake (or cakes).
I follow quite a few bakers on Instagram and really dig the “unfinished” cake look, so for my birthday, I decided to emulate it with two of the cakes. I used a mascarpone whipped cream frosting in place of butter cream because: 1) I think the cake is sweet enough that buttercream is overkill and 2) mascarpone whipped cream is decadently rich without being overwhelming.
Since my birthday is fast approaching, I decided to treat myself with a week full of recipes on my so-called “cooking bucket list.” But before I get too far ahead, let me tell you what happened a few days ago.
Last week, I came home to an insane number of boxes in front of my apartment. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I love a good online deal, but by the number of boxes waiting for me, I started to think that maybe I should lay off the late-night shopping sprees. Turns out, a few of them were gifts from my brother Michael.
My brother knows I love to cook, and has successfully gifted me an espresso maker and a crock pot in years past. This year he outdid himself with a beautiful French cookbook and a small Le Creuset pot. Gifts aren’t important to me, but I may have drooled a bit when I opened that large (and very, very heavy) box.
I’ve been on a little chili kick recently. It all started when I got really sick a few weeks ago. I was on a whirlwind tour of the United States — I started with a weekend in Chicago with friends, followed by less than 12 hours to recoup in LA and closed with a week in Boston for work. While I absolutely love traveling, this proved to be too much for my body. I spent most of Boston sniffling, coughing and sneezing all to my poor co-worker’s dismay. I’ll spare you the gritty details, but needless to say, I was quite a mess. When I finally returned to my apartment and cats, I knew something warm and hearty was exactly what I needed to kick the cold. Enter the most simple chili ever.
This was my inspiration for this recipe: I opened the fridge and search for anything that sounded remotely good to add to my chili. By some sort of luck, it ended up being pretty tasty — don’t you love when that happens! Once I was off cold medication, I tweaked the recipe a little further to help with cooking time.
I hope you enjoy!
Oh, man! I wish you could smell my kitchen right now. It smells like heaven!
Surprising enough, for someone who loves baking and most sweet things, I’ve never tested my hand at making granola. But the other day, I was sitting around with some friends and a bottle of wine (or two) and the subject of breakfast came up. (They all like to eat as much as me, so it’s obvious we get along). Two of them said that their go-to breakfasts involved yogurt, and one of them said she couldn’t imagine breakfast without her mom’s homemade granola. I’m more of an eggs and toast person myself, but the more that they talked about homemade granola, I knew I just had to try it.
Since I’m in love with this time of year, I decided to make a granola that matched the season. All the ingredients I used I had on hand, meaning that you know I’ll be making this one again.